They’ve done it again! Local architecture and design firm AP Valletta has been awarded not one but TWO awards by the local NGO, Din L-Art Helwa. The firm was recognised for their work on ‘The Phoenicia Hotel Spa’ which is utterly gorgeous.
The firm won the Judge Curran Prize for the best overall project together with the Prize for Architectural Heritage which are presented each year for projects “which make a significant contribution to architectural and design excellence in Malta in relation to cultural heritage,” the statement read. And if you’ve ever had the chance to visit the renovated Phoenicia, you’ll know what we’re on about.
“The positive outcome of the Phoenicia Hotel Spa results from the quality of the work executed, as well as from the aesthetic merit of the project and its historical value. A preliminary in-depth research was crucial for the success of the project,” AP’s executive director David Felice explains.
The project is part of a masterplan for the regeneration of the Phoenicia Hotel, which included the restoration and the extension of the main building and the redevelopment of the pool area at the foot of the bastions, aiming at a contemporary experience that pays tribute to the prestige of the pre-existing structure.
The location of the new spa was selected to enhance and pay respect to the original shape and layout of the Hotel, right on the edge of Valletta’s bastions, partly sitting on some of the fortification system outer works. This unique location shaped the configuration of the project and contributed to the general organisation of the grounds, with its elongated shape that stretches from Valletta’s main gate all the way to the seashore.
The team says it was quite the complex rendered to be quite challenging as historic ruins, that formed part of the foundation systems of the Place of Arms, were discovered during the construction process. AP Valletta decided to retain the two uncovered historic walls in their entirety and to integrate them within the primary spaces of the hotel, to ensure continual maintenance and preservation.
The fortifications, as well as the surrounding bastions, are therefore always visible: from the suspended treatment rooms and fitness area, as well as from the pool and lounge area. “The concept behind the design of the new Phoenicia Hotel Spa is rooted in the memory of ancient roman baths. The combination of a light and neutral materiality through the main volume of the Spa and the exposure of the old ruins creates a unique architecture langue for the spa, projecting the space into a timeless dimension,” says AP’s executive director Konrad Buhagiar.
Feasting our eyes on gorgeous historic sites and heritage features will lounging by a pool? Erm, yes PLEASE! Congrats to AP Valletta for their stunning work.